Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Dutch Quilt #2 and Pressure Canning

This is a quilt made by the same gal who did this one. I have no idea how she gets her borders so beautifully perfect.

She used a similar process - a preprinted panel with added borders.  And a few little spots of embroidery.  The photography is not up to my usual (?) standards.

 The quilting shows much better on the back.

Good Lord!  Why didn't anyone talk to me about pressure canning 25 years ago????  I have six 1-quart jars in the canner filled with Russian Vegetable Soup.  The pressure gauge is on its way up to 11 lbs., at which point I can start timing 75 minutes.
  • the kitchen is not full of steam
  • I don't have bubbling, boiling water spilling all over the stove
  • the stove element is now turned down to just above 'low' instead of blistering everything in sight at HIGH
Seriously.  If you enjoy canning, BUY YOURSELF A CHRISTMAS PRESENT.  To hell with the kids! - this was $100.00 (I think Home Hardware price is around $150.00). Mind you, I am not done yet.  Hopefully all the jars will seal and I won't be poisoning poor DH.  But to put it in perspective, he faces that danger every day.  :-)

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Using your sparklies

Sparkly fabrics used for a Christmas table topper.

Pretty backing!

Silk ties mixed with a sparkly gold fabric.

The backing is a gold finish eyelet.  Beautiful.  I used a black batting on this one so the eyelets didn't pop with a white dot.

Oh, and Black Friday sales, I heart you.  :-)  Ordered on Tuesday, delivered on Wednesday.  I hope to take it for a test drive next week.  Must get to Canadian Tire and stock up on two-part lids for my canning jars.

Ever since I heard that tin cans are lined with BPA I have been trying to cut down on the food I buy in cans.  Most of the time now I cook beans and chick peas from dried, and it is surprisingly simple.  Soak them in a pot of water overnight.  In the morning: drain, add fresh water and cook for 45 - 60 minutes.  One cup of dried beans makes about the equivalent of a 19 oz. can.  If DH is cooking he still prefers the ease of canned beans so we have a bunch of cans in the fruit cellar.  Now, though, I can pressure can my own in glass jars.  For the past several years I've been making pretty much all of our soup from scratch, so I can also start to can my own soups.  Hah.  A new hobby.  I found a blog yesterday by some folks in Ontario's cottage country - the Turnbulls.  I was reading about their relationship with a pressure canner.  Good information for me, since I know NOTHING about pressure canning.  They also share several recipes, but you can be assured that any requirement for turnip (shudder) will be amended to some other vegetable.  DH is also a big fan of baked beans, so I will be making and canning a big batch of that, too.

I was up at 4 am today, lay in bed until 5 am then gave up on sleep.  Now that it's daylight I just looked out the window - yikes!!!  Snow on the ground!!!  It will make today's Caledonia Santa Clause parade a little more festive and a lot more froid.  (that's French for cold)  Brrr...

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Asian Fabrics, marital relations, trunk show Nov 21st

Yaaay - the "Asia 2009" quilt is finished and on the bed.

I quilted this with a pantograph because I really wanted to showcase the fabrics, not the quilting.

This is one of the designs from a collection by Munnich Design.

Fancy label.  I have, in the past several years, included the type of batting used as well as washing instructions.  This incorporates a selvedge from one of the Tokyo fabrics.  Is that not the cutest selvedge ever?

If you would like to see this quilt up close and personal, I will be the guest speaker at the Ancaster Quilt Guild this coming Wednesday, November 21st.  7 pm.  I am doing a trunk show and talking about batting.

Now, as for marital relations.
DH and I are at the end of a week of COLD WAR.  I am sure you are familiar with this, if you are in a committed relationship.  It occurs when one of you is an ass, and the other is a saint.  I am obviously the saint so I assume you can figure out who is the ass. As I've written about, this has been our worst. year. ever.  We are broke, broke, broke.  Well, we both make as much as normal, but to clear it up we are now in debt, debt, debt.  Drives me crazy and makes me feel like a slave to the money.  It is always top of mind - I wake up with it and go to sleep with it.  Please.  I want to have my money comfort back but that won't happen until the payments can stop.  So that means the ass-person is supposed to stick to the budget as previously agreed to.
He is not supposed to be overspending and buying shit like this.

Clearly, I have several of them already in my spotless cupboard.
For the past week we've been having hall sex.  (you must have heard THAT joke - as you pass each other in the hall, you say 'f**k you)  It gets to the point, though, after several days, you just get tired of being angry.  This is one of those little, um, personal quirks of his that is never going to go away.  He puts up with me being bossy decisive, and anal particular about the bedmaking, and disgusted concerned about his food choices.  And after a bit of COLD WAR I put up with his bad money skills.
I'll end this with a little chuckle for you...

Monday, November 12, 2012

leisure time

I've been self employed for 12 years now.  The first few years were not very busy for me - I had time to watch the sewing shows that are on tv in the afternoon, and I had time to take skills-upgrading classes and go to networking meetings.  Those were the days when I spent as much time working ON my business as I did working IN my business.  Now I stay busy pretty much all the time.  I schedule vacations and play days on my work calendar, and I pencil in my own quilts on the schedule - just like I do for customer quilts. 

This past weekend I took two days to myself, when I SHOULD have been out cleaning up the gardens (the canna lilies still need to be dug out and put away for the winter, and let me tell you - they look awful right now!).
But, I have baby Christmas gifts done.  You only get to see one piece - I don't want to spoil the surprise.

I have a Quilt of Valour quilted and ready for binding.  I thought that was an appropriate way to spend Remembrance Day.

I made two loaves of Honey Oatmeal bread.  You can see that loaf #1 is disappearing fast.  Jean & Dave popped in while I was working on this - they stayed for coffee and zucchini loaf (my freezer overfloweth...).  It was appropriate that I was wearing the apron that Jean made for me a few years ago.

And I caved in and took Sadie for a nice long walk.  This is her "Aren't you done YET?" pose.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

beating the STASH into submission

Oooh - Snoopy Dance here. The stash is back in the minus zone!!!  November will be a good report too, because this weekend I am quilting my Asia top that was completed at the Tobermory retreat.

Used in October 41.85 m.
Used YTD 77.7 m.
Purchased in October 0 m.
Purchased YTD 74.75 m.
NET 2012 (- 2.95) m.

A large quantity went on the backing for three Christmas panel quilts.  I put this backing together at the Tobermory retreat.  Pfftt...awesome photographer that I am, I should have taken the pic before I cut the quilts apart and finished them, so you will have to use your imagination.  I made one LARGE backing and loaded the quilts on one at a time.

These are the tops.  I learn so much from my customers - I have a gal who often takes a center panel, puts a couple of borders on it, often with cornerstones, and VOILA.  So on these, I was manifesting my inner 'Marie'.

Two of these are being donated to the Rotary auction, and the third is for the Holiday House Tour.

I called this quilt Leftover Love.  Because I DO love leftovers - I get to be creative when I try to use them up.  Actually, I love leftovers in the kitchen too.  When I (rarely) do meal planning I like to start with a hunk of meat that will get roasted, then go through a couple of cookbooks and plan meals around the leftovers.  This week it was a ham, then leftovers went into Ham & Cauliflower Gratin.  I had good intentions of making a Strata for breakfast, but that didn't happen.

The little 9-patch centers are leftovers from the commission quilt I did last year.  On this top I was manifesting my inner 'Thelma'.  She makes (usually) 20 block tops, using sort of log cabin-ish blocks, with a centre something-block (often leftovers from another project).  Separate with sashing, add a border or two.

Stash busting on the back.

The niece and her bf moved into their apartment yesterday.  Her dad came Friday night and stayed over to help with the move, so I made Oat Pancakes for Saturday breakfast.  These are a hot item on the menu at the Tobermory retreat.  I had leftover pancakes (surprise!) so this morning I had a few with almond butter for breakfast.  Yum yum.